Spam / Featured Blogs

Are Botnets Really the Spam Problem?

Over the last few years I've been hearing some people claim that botnets are the real spam problem and that if you can find a sender then they're not a problem. Much of this is said in the context of hating on Canada for passing a law that requires senders actually get permission before sending email. Botnets are a problem online. They're a problem in a lot of ways. They can be used for denial of service attacks. They can be used to mine bitcoins... more»

Managing (in)Security Through Regulation: A Key Phase for Nation States

Not so long ago, the notion of introducing laws and other regulatory responses to address cyber security issues was regarded with significant hesitation by governments and policy makers. To some extent, this hesitation may well have stemmed from a general perception by those who do not work directly in the field that the world of cyber security is somewhat of a 'dark art'. More recently, however, there has been a substantial shift in this attitude, with proposals to regulate a range of cyber security related matters becoming increasingly numerous. more»

The Cycle of E-Mail Security

Stepping back from the DMARC arguments, it occurs to me that there is a predictable cycle with every new e-mail security technology... Someone invents a new way to make e-mail more secure, call it SPF or DKIM or DMARC or (this month's mini-fiasco) PGP in DANE. Each scheme has a model of the way that mail works. For some subset of e-mail, the model works great, for other mail it works less great. more»

Rodney Joffe Wins a Well-Deserved Mary Litynski Award

Every year M3AAWG gives an award for lifetime work in fighting abuse and making the Internet a better place. Yesterday at its Dublin meeting they awarded it to Rodney Joffe, who has been quietly working for over 20 years. I can't imagine anyone who deserves it more. more»

Deadline of April 10 to Apply For CARIS Workshop on Coordinating Response to Internet Attacks

You have just a couple of days to either complete a survey or submit a paper to join the "Coordinating Attack Response at Internet Scale (CARIS)" Workshop happening on June 19, 2015, in Berlin, Germany... If you are interested in helping improve the overall security and resilience of the Internet through increased communication between the groups responding to the large-scale attacks happening on the Internet every day, I would strongly encourage you to apply! more»

Coordinating Attack Response at Internet Scale

How do we help coordinate responses to attacks against Internet infrastructure and users? Internet technology has to scale or it won't survive for long as the network of networks grows ever larger. But it's not just the technology, it's also the people, processes and organisations involved in developing, operating and evolving the Internet that need ways to scale up to the challenges that a growing global network can create. more»

Who Is Sending Email As Your Company?

You might expect that the IT department or security team knows who's sending email using your company's domains. But for a variety of reasons these groups are often unaware of many legitimate senders -- not to mention all the bad actors. Fortunately you can get a more complete view by using DMARC's reporting features. How does it happen? Product teams managing a new product launch or customer survey hire marketing consultants and Email Service Providers (ESP)... more»

When DNSBLs Go Bad

I have often remarked that any fool can run a DNS-Based Blacklist (DNSBL) and many fools do so. Since approximately nobody uses the incompetently run black lists, they don't matter. Unfortunately, using a DNSBL requires equally little expertise, which becomes a problem when an operator wants to shut down a list. When someone sets up a mail server (which we'll call an MTA for Mail Transfer Agent), one of the tasks is to configure the anti-spam features, which invariably involves using DNSBLs. more»

The EFF and Hanlon's Razor

The EFF has just posted a shallower than usual deeplink alleging an "email encryption downgrade attack" by ISPs intent on eavesdropping on their customers. They, along with VPN provider Golden Frog, have additionally complained to the FCC reporting this. Here, they've just noticed something that's common across several hotel / airport wifi networks... more»

Some Observations from NANOG 62

NANOG 62 was held at Baltimore from the 6th to the 9th October. These are my observations on some of the presentations that occurred at this meeting. .. One of the more memorable sides in this presentation was a reference to "map" drawn by Charles Minard in 1869 describing the statistics relating to the Napoleonic military campaign in Russia, and the subsequent retreat. more»